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Comment Re:Java iterators (Score 1) 729

It's because iteration needs to maintain state (namely, where you're up to in the collection). If this was stored on the object, then you wouldn't be able to have 2 iterations active at once. Things like this wouldn't work:

// print all possible pairs
for (Person x: people) {
for (Person y: people) { // oops, now we're interfering with the iteration that's already happening over people
System.out.println("Pair (" + x + ", " + y + ")");
(Ugh, I forgot how to include code in a slashdot comment.)

Comment Gmail calls it spam (Score 1) 38

The slightly concerning thing is that the notice email I got was in my Spam folder. I checked the source carefully and the password reset link appeared to be legitimate. So I've used it (entering my email address only). The next email was also marked as Spam, with GMail saying that a lot of mail received from is spam.

Has anyone got any thoughts on this? Has scribd done something dumb in the past? Has their mail systems been compromised too? Is there a concerted effort to fool GMail into treating these password emails as spam?

Comment Re:In spite of the data? (Score 3) 469

Your "basic logic" has missed the part where being unable to formulate a trend for a 10 year period != having no access to the hundreds (ranging to millions, for some measures) of years of data that we have.

The GPs point was that while we may may need more than 10 years of data, we do have more than 10 years and we can draw trends from them.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 203

Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.

-- Galileo

We should combine that with one one of Einstein's to make the pragmatic rule: Everything should be as measureable as possible, but no more. (Basically, we should try to make things measureable, but we shouldn't measure things that obviously aren't.)

Comment Re:Jerry Pournelle's *rational* view of Fukushima (Score 2) 244

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't Tsar Bomba famous for being the largest nuclear weapon detonated? I don't see the relevance of it to estimating the consequences of an accident at a power station. The effects in each case are almost entirely incomparable. Sure, they're both "nuclear", and each involves a release of radioactivity. But the distribution of that in terms of isotope mix, time, intensity, location follow entirely different models. Furthermore, Tsar is renowned for its fusion detonation, which AFAICT is largely unrelated to the amount of fissile material required to trigger it -- for all I know the fission bomb component was no larger than average. Using it as the benchmark for "biggest nuclear thing ever" is bizarre and simplistic.

Comment Re:Not Good (Score 2) 335

Interesting. I'm not going to "fisk" that page (since fisking is a retarded practice that amounts to cherry-picking easily criticised minor points).

I was kind of proud to see my own local paper the "Wellington Dominion Post" scored a 7 for "selecting a picture of a mushroom cloud like explosion because they couldn't think of nuclear in any other terms than a mushroom cloud". Well that's kind of subjective: it doesn't look especially mushroomy to me. But it does look a hell of a lot like an actual Fukushima explosion photo.

There is a lot of sensationalism coming out in the Fukushima reporting. But sites like this aren't interested in accuracy; they exist to say that any concern for the plant is overblown, and to discredit any negative reporting of it, regardless of veracity.


World Cup Prediction Failures 312

pdcull writes "We all read on Slashdot about the investment banks using their massive computer power and clever modeling techniques to predict the FIFA World Cup outcome. Now that Goldman Sachs's, UBS's and Danske Bank's favorite, Brazil, has been eliminated, and with JP Morgan's England long gone, the question that begs to be asked is: can we really trust these guys to predict the financial markets any better than they did World Cup?"

Comment Re:other then features... (Score 1) 213

First, unlike other SQL engines Postgres is language-independent. There is a plug-in system, and it already ships with a few different SQL variants.

I'm a little unclear about where exactly this works in PostgreSQL. It's true that, for stored procedures (functions), there is a plugin system for the stored procedure language. But there is only one SQL dialect that can be used outside of stored procedures. The new DO command arguably expands this, but it still looks a lot like a stored procedure body.

Second, the primary language is PL/PGSQL which is a clone of Oracle's PL/SQL.

Tiny quibble: I don't know if you could call it the "primary language" since it's just as primary as all the others. I recall a time when I had to enable it in each DB that needed it -- perhaps if it's included by default it is now slightly more primary than some others...


Submission + - Can't Wait for NoSQL to Die

theodp writes: Ted Dziuba can't wait for NoSQL to die. Developing your app for Google-sized scale, says Dziuba, is a waste of your time. Not to mention there is no way you will get it right. The sooner your company admits this, the sooner you can get down to some real work. If real businesses like Walmart can track all of their data in SQL databases that scale just fine, Dziuba argues, surely your company can, too.

Submission + - AMD To Develop "Open-Source Friendly" GPUs (

skaroo writes: Phoronix is reporting that future AMD GPUs will be more open-source friendly. After AMD started releasing their GPG specifications to the open-source community, questions arose whether there would be information covering their Unified Video Decoder (UVD) found on the Radeon HD 2000 graphics cards. The UVD information is needed in order for hardware-accelerated video playback, but it likely cannot be opened as it's ingrained with DRM. However, an AMD representative said that moving to a modular UVD design is a requirement for future GPUs and that they will be more open-source friendly. They will also be opening the video acceleration information for their earlier graphics cards. A win for the open-source community or too little too late?

Submission + - Phonon : where QT and KDE meet (

Cassanova writes: "Trolltech has recently announced that its graphic library Qt will be using Phonon, he new multimedia library created by the KDE developers. This is good news for Qt4 users allowing Qt to be better and simpler and it's a good sign of a great collaboration between Trolltech and the other Free software projects."

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley